ANN ARBOR — Merit Network Inc. announced today that they have completed a scheduled equipment upgrade on the MiLR (Michigan LambdaRail) fiber ring.

The upgrade took place Jan. 3-5, and included installation of equipment, cut-over and migration of existing service to the new equipment. The equipment deployed in the upgrade was ADVA Optical Networking.

MiLR is a high-speed, special purpose, data network created jointly by the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University. It provides low-cost fiber-optic connections between the three campuses and to national and international research and education connection points.

Said Michael Milliken, director of network engineering at Merit Network: “The improved capacity enables improved collaboration and supports even the most advanced initiatives of these great research institutions.”

“The MiLR upgrade allows Michigan research universities to be some of the first in the country to have access to an infrastructure of 100G,” said Roy Hockett, network architect, ITS Communications Systems and Data Centers, University of Michigan.

The upgrade announced today increases capacity from 40 10 Gigabit per second (Gbps) waves to 40 100 Gbps waves. The enhanced capacity gives researchers at the three MiLR member institutions, the ability to use circuits from their campus to a variety of research and education networks that interconnect in Chicago.

The University of Michigan received a National Science Foundation grant which provides for 100 Gbps connection to Internet2 Advance Layer2 Service. The MiLR upgrade makes this connection possible. The upgrade will increase UM’s connectivity to Internet2 dynamic circuits service by 50-fold and connections to GENI and other Openflow services to 10 Gbps or higher.

The increased capacity also enhances UM’s data driven science by reducing the amount of time needed for “big data” transfers and iterations as well as increasing the amount of this type of research that can be supported.

Merit Network operates the MiLR network and provides engineering support. Through its relationship with Merit governing members, UM, MSU, WSU, Merit Network utilizes its own waves over the MiLR network as part of its core backbone in Michigan.

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